I'm on a tight budget but wanting to change platform. I've read very good things abuot the i3 and even though its dual core vs the triple core, from what I've read it is still better. What I can't quantify is by how much?
They system will be general PC duties with moderate gaming.
depends on what you want to do with a core i3.
without knowing your pc specs it's hard to say. need your full pc specs including psu specs. it'll help others point out which needs changing.
the core i3 will have 2 real cores as opposed to athlon ii's 3 (4 is core unlocking and oc is successful) cores. core i3 will play games better than athlon with a powerful gaming gfx card. you can try checking out these benches: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
the following is based on some assumptions.
however, if your motherboard's chipset supports new am3+ cpus, you can update your mobo bios and go for piledriver cpus coming out later this year. if your platform supports pd, you can get away with a decent cpu (still lower gaming perf than intel's) without changing your motherboard and putting the saved money towards a gaming gfx card and/or ssd.
Oh and I did try unlocking the 4th core when I purchased the X3 but it failed.
Usage, is general PC. web stuff, e-mail, office suite, downloads, itunes, movies, I do the odd youTube vid so use basic video editing. I sometimes convert stuff from one format to another using any video converter. Also unpack a fair amount of rars.
from intel, pentium g860 or core i3 2120 would be a decent choice, with a radeon hd 6870 or 7850 - depending on budget.
imo both avc and file extraction could benefit from cpus from more cores. gaming typically uses 2 cpus cores and that's why pentium and core i3's gaming perf bests amd's cpus.
Keep in mind that your graphics card is between 6770 and 6850 in terms of performance, and your cpu might be around 10-30 percent slower than these two when it comes to gaming.
If you're on a budget and play here and there, I really don't think you should upgrade right now. If you want to squeeze a little more performance then get a ~40$ (maybe even less) aftermarket cooling for your cpu and overclock it a little.